Strengthening health security by implementing the International Health Regulations (2005)

IHR News

The WHO quarterly bulletin on IHR implementation

What's new in the WHO regions

AFRO: Coordination meeting for National IHR Focal Points

During a three day meeting from 29 to 31 March 2010, the National IHR Focal Points in the AFRO Region met in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The meeting focused on updating the participants' knowledge on obligations and responsibilities under IHR implementation, discussing the standard operating procedures of event management systems and response mechanisms, and updating the participants on approaches to resource mobilization and partnerships. All countries in the AFRO Region participated, as well as representatives from the National Focal Point and from the WHO country office.

AFRO: Courses in epidemiology in Central Africa

Within the framework of the SURVAC project (Surveillance in Central Africa), three courses in epidemiology were held from April to June, in Kribi, Cameroon, in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Bangui, the Central African Republic. The trainees were key staff of the national surveillance system at central and regional level, including epidemiologists and laboratory technicians. The project courses consist of two sessions: the first is a two week module, while the second one runs for three days. Between the two the trainees have one month to work on two assignments using real data and real situations that occur in surveillance systems or in evaluating an intervention on an epidemic. Trainees also develop a training project addressing a specific issue. The work is done in groups of three to four persons and presented and discussed during the second gathering. The participants set individual objectives for improvement at the end of the course, and SURVAC will follow up on the improvement over time.

AMRO-PAHO: Points of entry workshop in Fortaleza-CE, Brazil

Participants from 17 countries from the South American Region as well as from other WHO regions, port health experts and IHR experts from all Portuguese speaking countries in other regions and Spain met for a workshop in Fortaleza-CE, Brazil from 14 to 18 June. The objective of the meeting was to exchange experiences on the strengthening of IHR core capacities and to hold a workshop on inspection of ships and issuance of ship sanitation certificates, involving a field test of the new WHO draft guidance document for this purpose. The meeting was supported and co-organized by the National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance of Brazil (ANVISA), the WHO Country Office in Brazil, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and IHR Coordination, Lyon Office.

AMRO-PAHO: Regional meeting on IHR implementation

Quito, Ecuador hosted a Regional meeting on implementation of the International Health Regulations from 4 to 6 May. Representatives from the entire Region came together to discuss progress on compliance with IHR requirements, achieved by strengthening coordination and sharing of experiences between Member States, the Pan American Health Organization and WHO headquarters. Among topics discussed were global, regional and national partnerships, national surveillance and response systems, health security in travel and transport, global alert and response systems and management of specific risks.

EMRO: Workshops on monitoring the implementation of IHR core capacities

Two workshops on monitoring implementation of IHR core capacities were held in EMRO; one in Cairo from 29 March to 1 April, the other in Amman, Jordan from 25 to 27 April. The workshops targeted National IHR Focal Points and relevant stakeholders in the EMRO Region on the use of the monitoring tool as well as introducing them to the web based monitoring tool. The workshops also provided training on how to identify gaps in country capacity and on the development of action plans.

SEARO-WPRO: Bi-regional consultation on emerging diseases

A bi-regional consultation on the Asia Pacific strategy for emerging diseases and beyond was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 24 to 27 May 2010. This was the fourth meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on emerging infectious diseases. The objectives of the meeting were to review experiences and lessons learnt from the implementation of the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED), to discuss the outcomes of country consultations on 'Beyond APSED' and to propose options for future strategic directions, approaches and main components of a future Strategy to be considered for endorsement by the fifth TAG meeting. WHO headquarters gave updates on IHR implementation on a global perspective and on IHR national core capacities monitoring. Participants comprised technical experts from selected Member States of the Western Pacific and South-East Asian Regions.